Phoenix Mercury, Rep. Greg Stanton host ‘Bring Brittney Griner Home’ rally
Griner’s wife was the final speaker at the event
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Phoenix Mercury and Arizona Rep. Greg Stanton hosted “Bring BG Home Rally” Wednesday night at the Footprint Center in honor of imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Fans came out to show their support at Footprint Center with “Bring Brittney Home” signs. Stanton and others urged fans to continue making their voices heard about Griner. “It’s important that President Biden and the state department know that they have the full support of the American people to do whatever it takes to bring Brittney Griner home,” said Stanton, drawing applause from the crowd.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, was the final speaker at the rally, which was open to the public. “What and how I feel today is a deeper emotion than hurt. I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that 140 days have passed since my wife has been able to speak to me, to our family, to our friends,” said Cherelle.
Several Mercury stars and Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard also spoke, pleading for Griner’s return home. “It should be the lead story in everything this season until she returns home. She’s a wonderful person, wonderful basketball player. Most importantly, she’s a proud American and we need her home,” said Nygaard.
The rally comes after Griner was detained on Feb. 17 at an airport in Russia after authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing a cannabis derivative. In May, the State Department reclassified Griner as wrongfully detained and transferred oversight of her case to the State Department Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs or SPEHA.
This week, Griner sent a letter to President Joe Biden pleading for his help. Her trial has begun and is expected to resume on Thursday. Arizona’s Family spoke to Phoenix Mercury President Vince Kozar ahead of the rally. He says that in everything the team does, Griner is top of mind. “The locker that she occupies is still here. The day to day of seeing her just isn’t there,” Kozar said. “And that’s a gaping hole, not only on the court, but just emotionally for us who have known her for a really long time,” he said.
The event Wednesday was an opportunity for the public to have their voices heard and show Griner support. Stanton was working on a resolution pushing for Griner’s release. “My family and I, we love Brittney Griner and have for many, many, many years,” Stanton said. “She is an amazing athlete, one of the very best athletes on planet Earth. And she is an amazing community leader. We need her home.”
There is also a petition and website up to bring her home.
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